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SNA News Releases

Read SNA Oral Testimony at Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Second Meeting

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January 17, 2014 – The second meeting of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee took place January 13-14, 2014, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. SNA was in attendance to monitor the conversations among the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, as well as observe the public testimony. You can learn more about the Dietary Guidelines process at www.dietaryguidelines.gov and submit written comments for the committee’s consideration.

Marla Caplon, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools, provided oral testimony on behalf of the Association. You can read her testimony here, which reflects written comments submitted.

Congress Passes Omnibus Spending Bill With Competitive Foods Waiver Report Language

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January 17, 2014 – This week, the U.S. Congress has passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus funding bill for the federal government. Contained within the accompanying report is language directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide a one-year waiver option for LEAs that certify they cannot implement the upcoming “Smart Snacks” rule and/or the school breakfast program without incurring increased costs.

This waiver option would only be for the school year 2014-2015. The report language does not have the force of law, but is important, as it can provide direction, instruction and/or guidance from the committee to USDA on how they would like the Department to act.

USDA Announces Professional Standards Rule Coming Soon

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January 13, 2014 – Today, during SNA's School Nutrition Industry Conference, Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, announced that proposed regulations on professional standards will be released in the next few days.  SNA will notify members and share information as soon as the proposed rule is released.  SNA has already mobilized a representative task force of SNA members, led by Vice President Jean Ronnei, SNS, to review the details of the proposed rule.  The task force will meet at SNA headquarters in National Harbor, MD to assess the impact of the rule on school nutrition professionals and meal programs, to gather extensive input from SNA members, and to craft SNA’s official comments in response to the rule.

SNA will be the one stop shop for SNA members' needs relating to professional standards.  SNA will create an online web portal to provide school nutrition professionals a place to locate available training opportunities and a place to track credits necessary to meet the standards. Stay tuned to schoolnutrition.org for more information.


USDA FNS Released Notice of Summer Food Service Program 2014 Reimbursement Rates

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January 7, 2014 – Effective January 1, 2014, this notice informs the public of the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program for Children. These adjustments address changes in the Consumer Price Index, as required under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The 2014 reimbursement rates are presented as a combined set of rates to highlight simplified cost accounting procedures. The rate for all states except Alaska and Hawaii is $2.0225 for Breakfast, $3.545 for Lunch or Supper, and $0.84 for Snack. Click here to read the notice and see the rates in more detail.

SNA Provides Comments to USDA FNS Request for Comment on Community Eligibility

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January 6, 2014 – This rule proposes to amend the eligibility regulations for free and reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) to codify the statutory provision that establishes the community eligibility provision, a reimbursement option for eligible local educational agencies and schools that wish to offer free school meals to all children in high poverty schools without collecting household applications. This proposed rule reflects statutory requirements that were implemented through policy guidance following enactment of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA).

To read the rule in its entirety, click here. To read SNA’s comments, click here.

USDA FNS Permanently Eliminates the Grain and Protein Maximums

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According to an advanced copy of the rule scheduled to be public January 3, 2014, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service will be making permanent the elimination of weekly maximums on grains and meat/meat alternates. 

The rule encompasses administrative review, streamlining the certification process, as well as making permanent the flexibility of daily and weekly ranges for grain and meat/meat alternates if documentation is compliant with the daily and weekly minimums, and the allowance of processing frozen fruit with sugar, within the National School Lunch Program.  When conducting administrative reviews, State agencies should consider any SFA compliant with the weekly ranges for grains and meats if the weekly minimums are met.

Read the rule, here.


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